Fifty years ago, a young couple, Ed & Carolyn Rose saw a problem and gathered their friends to offer a solution. All around them, there were families struggling to make ends meet, in need of food, clothing, household goods, and mostly dignity. Their hope-filled message has inspired many to give time, goods, and money for these 5 decades.
MEND serves those who are often invisible in society: people who live in the margins, who are very low income, are homeless, or are immigrants. When they walk in to MEND’s doors, they are seen, valued, and appreciated. Our team of staff and volunteers are dedicated to assisting them to not only relieve the stressors of today, but also to help them thrive, however they define it for themselves.
I have been working in the nonprofit field for close to a quarter century, all the while dedicated to organizations with missions like MEND’s. All aimed at improving the life situations of people with social and economic barriers. I have worked with people with disabilities, veterans, those re-entering society after incarceration, those who were homeless, foster youth, seniors, immigrants, people who were chronically unemployed, and the list goes on.
Each individual I encountered, regardless of their situation, had two things in common: (1) They were all experiencing some form of poverty, and (2) Everyone was looking for ways to improve their circumstances, whether it was having the resources to feed and shelter their families, to get a better job, to live independently, or to just be valued as a human being.
Looking at today’s economic climate due to COVID-19, I know many are grateful that the vision of the Roses grew into the San Fernando Valley’s most respected poverty alleviation agency. Because of this spark of an idea to help others back in 1971, and the support of so many loyal supporters, as of January 31, 2021, MEND has directly provided more than 2.5 million pounds of food to benefit 150,000 people since the pandemic began. And we won’t let up. We will continue to our work on behalf of struggling families for as long as we are needed.